Wilson Dakwa, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S biggest banking group, CBZ has contributed more than $30 million in the past few years towards financing housing projects in support of Government’s drive to provide shelter for every citizen.
CBZ divisional director of Mortgage Finance Mr Casper Chibanga said this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between CBZ and the Bulawayo City Council on Thursday.
“CBZ has invested a lot of money into housing projects in trying to ensure that everyone in Zimbabwe owns a house. For the Mahatshula East housing project, we have invested $7 million, Victoria Falls it was about $12 million, Marondera roughly $8 million and Chikanganga $3 million,” said Mr Chibanga.
Mr Chibanga also said CBZ has a budget of an upward of $20 million towards servicing and housing projects this year.
He said CBZ will fund more housing projects in the future and the bank offers mortgages to customers to be able to get loans to buy stands and houses.
“Our Cash Plus Housing Savings Account is an investment vehicle for stands or house owners. This product promotes savings as clients are going to save and their contributions will be matched dollar for dollar in terms of a loan.
“For instance if a client saves $50 000 we will give them a loan of $50 000 which will mean he/she will be able to buy a $100 000 house. We encourage the public to save so as to make a bigger contribution towards buying their properties and this also reduces the bond compared to someone who will be seeking a loan without savings,” he said.
The timeframe for the loans is 12 months minimum and a four percent interest which is subject to review. Bulawayo has a housing waiting list of about 110 000. The council used to have a housing model whereby it would service stands and build houses before selling but due to financial constraints, council has resorted to servicing and then selling the stands for people to build for themselves.
Mr Chibanga said CBZ was also supporting agricultural projects across the country in a move aimed at promoting food security.
“We have an agricultural unit which is funding agricultural activities throughout the nation. All farmers are assisted, from those engaged in cattle ranching and also the crop farmers depending on the region. The agricultural unit can be contacted at our branches,” said Mr Chibanga.
Mr Chibanga said CBZ suspended the local use Visa earlier this year to curb the outflow of funds as the settlement of Visa payments was being done abroad using the nostro account.
“Visa cards are still operational, we have only stopped the use of the cards for local transactions. It is now meant for international transactions because people were using Visa cards to pay for goods and services locally yet the settlement for Visa cards is done abroad. This was causing an outflow of funds from the country,” said Mr Chibanga.